Lessons from the Danger Garden

Since my earliest days with the long-lost, late-lamented Blotanical, I’ve been a reader of Loree Bohl’s The Danger Garden. With a focus on her passion for spiky plants, Loree has been a regular and prolific blogger since 2009. Get to know her through this interview. Now the growing conditions in Portland (USDA Z8) and Toronto (USDA Z5/Canadian Z6) […]

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Paving the way: One pebble at a time

In the Italianate terrace at Powerscourt Estate in Ireland’s County Wicklow, a journey of 1,000 pebbles (many times over) began in 1843 with the very first stone, placed by a kid aged seven. Look at the finish date above – more than three decades later. And it all happened one pebble at a time. It makes me think of […]

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Inspiration for mosaic paving

Before the snow or, more likely, the fallen leaves cover the ground, it’s a good time to squint at your paving (what Marjorie Harris calls “creative staring”) to see if there’s anything you can do better. Here are a couple of beautiful mosaic paving designs from the Atlanta Botanical Garden. [Update: Paving design is by […]

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Gabion fences at Canada Blooms 2016

Canada Blooms 2016 may be over, but my mind keeps returning to this show garden from Jacob’s Gardenscape. I don’t know which criteria earned it the Most Innovative Garden award, but the gabion fences were really interesting. If you’ve spent time on the trails along Toronto’s Don or Humber rivers, you’ve probably noticed the original […]

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A checkerboard and a chair

The patio in the garden of sculptor Birgit Piskor was actually used to play checkers when this was her childhood home. I love how she kept it when she returned home and made her garden. When the rain and sleet and snow come tomorrow, this is where I’ll be sitting in my mind. Join me?

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Making waves in the Wave Garden

The Wave Garden in Richmond Point, California, overlooking San Francisco Bay. Is it essential for a garden, a serious garden, to always start with a plan? And if we don’t have a plan, should we say, “Oh well, nothing’s written in stone”? In June 2013, I visited a garden that began with no real plan: […]

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Friday Idea File: It’s all about paving

Stained concrete, Lane garden, Seattle When a paving geek like me visits a garden, camera in hand, you can be sure that some shots will be about what’s underfoot. So this Friday’s Idea File focuses on the hardscaping under the snow. As you can see, you don’t have to settle for standard unit paver patterns […]

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Throw your garden some curves

We’re in that in-between stage in our Toronto gardens: not quite winter; doesn’t feel like spring. If yours is like mine, the garden’s disheartening brown drabness feels like the morning after a big party. The fun part seems too long ago; all you can see is what needs tidying. But it’s the perfect time of […]

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